Documenting Decisions: Tips, Tools, Techniques and Lessons Learned in Report Writing
This recorded webinar included tips from the field on technical story telling: How are those in the field writing integrated feasibility study and environmental compliance documents that are both technically complete and readable? Jacksonville and Little Rock Districts shared recent experiences and lessons learned as they prepared and released draft reports for public - and concurrent internal - review.
This 2013 webinar included tips from the field on technical story telling: How are
those in the field writing integrated feasibility study and environmental compliance
documents that are both technically complete and readable? Jacksonville and
Little Rock Districts shared experiences and lessons learned as they prepared and
released draft reports for public - and concurrent internal - review.
Displaying the Results of Alternatives Evaluation and Comparison: "Table of Effects"
This tip sheet developed by the USACE Plan Formulation Community of Practice provides examples of approaches to developing and displaying a "table of effects" in a USACE feasibility report, presenting the performance of each alternative, relative to the baseline, the study objectives, the four formulation and evaluation criteria, and any other screening or selection criteria used in the analyses. Teams are encouraged to use these examples and build off of them to best display the effects of alternatives in their feasibility reports, including by using available editable examples tables and editable example diagrams.
Feasibility Report Format and Content Guide
This guide provides general recommendations for the format and content of USACE feasibility reports with an integrated Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The guide can be used as a starting point for nearly all feasibility reports and is appropriate for use by entry-level to senior planners. It may also be used as a reference for policy reviewers and technical specialists. The format described in the guide is not mandatory.
Feasibility Report Summary Format and Content Guide
This Feasibility Report Summary Format and Content Guide is intended to assist users in the development of the content and structure of the Report Summary. The Report Summary is initiated prior to the Alternative Milestone, is updated at each subsequent milestone, and is used to support briefings, decision-related meetings and hearings.
- Federal Plain Language Guidelines
PlainLanguage.gov provides information about the Plain Writing Act and examples
for how to write government products using plain language.
GPO Style Manual
The U.S. Government Publishing Office is authorized to determine the form and style of Government printing. The Style Manual is the product of many years of public printing experience, and its rules are based on principles of good usage and custom in the printing trade. Essentially, the Style Manual is a standardization device designed to achieve uniform word and type treatment, and aiming for economy of word use. The Style Manual has served Federal printers since 1894, and with each new edition, the traditions of printing and graphic arts are carried forward into new technologies.
- Integrated Report Format and Content Outline (PDF)
Approach taken by Jacksonville District to develop integrated feasibility study and
reports, with details on the content of the 100-page main feasibility study report
and the appendices.
Planning Bulletin 2019-02: Incorporation of External Reports in to Studies and Decision Documents
The purpose of this Planning Bulleting is to provide guidance on the use of data, information, and reports produced by groups outside of USACE (including project partners, other federal, state, and local governments, academia, and non-governmental organization) in studies and decision documents. This guidance is intended to reinforce the existing approach of considering benefits, costs, and impacts across the four accounts (national economic development (NED), regional economic development (RED), environmental quality, and other social effects (OSE)) to inform decision-makers throughout the government, non-governmental organizations, and the public.
USGS Public Domain Climate Illustrations
These public domain illustrations developed by the U.S. Geological Survey explore climate concepts and explain how climate change impacts ecosystem services, invasive species, and native pollinators with examples from different ecosystems and regions across the U.S.
- Coastal Texas StratCom (7 April)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Strategic Communications Plan for the Coastal Texas study – USACE’s largest Civil
Works study ever undertaken. In just under 6 years, the project delivery team produced a $29B recommended plan that promises
to deliver a resilient Texas coast using a combination of ecosystem restoration and coastal storm risk management features that
function as a system to reduce the risk of coastal storm damages to natural and man-made infrastructure and to restore
degraded coastal ecosystems. Focused on redundancy and robustness, the proposed system of improvements increases the
resiliency of the Texas coast and is adaptable to future conditions. To reach communities locked-down during the Covid crisis,
the team innovated strategic communications, deploying a combination of virtual technologies to engage the public and assure
transparency across the local, regional, and national landscape. Dr. Kelly Burks-Copes (PM, Galveston District) reviewed the
Strategic Communications Plan for the study and walked through the various tools and techniques utilized to assure public
outreach used both during the study phase and planned for the next phases of the project.
- Overview and Use of the Feasibility Report Format and Content Guide (2 December)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Feasibility Report Format and Content Guide – a
new tool that has been produced by a team of experts within USACE for nationwide use.
Presenter Ray Wimbrough (HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor) discussed the contents of
the guide, which contains a suggested format, typical content for each section and
subsection, and general notes for development of reports. The guide is envisioned to be
helpful to beginner as well as experienced planners, provides a general starting point for
any feasibility study, and can also be used as a reference/checklist to assist in technical
and/or policy review.
- Successes & Lessons Learned from the Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement Joint Record of Decision (18 March)
- This webinar provided an overview of the preparation of a joint Record of Decision (ROD)
for the Columbia River System Operations environmental impact statement (EIS), which
had three co-lead federal agencies who worked together toward selecting an alternative
that would meet each agency’s mission. Presenters Rebecca Weiss and Leanne Holm
(USACE Northwestern Division), David Kennedy and Jill Leary (Bonneville Power
Administration), and Jarod Blades (Bureau of Reclamation) discussed the history and
background of the project, the format used for the joint ROD, and lessons learned.
- Getting to the Finish Line – Preparing for a Successful Final Report and Chief’s or Director’s Report (4 March)
- This webinar discussed common issues in final report submittal packages and
Washington-level review and processing. Members of the Office of Water Project Review
(OWPR) and the Regional Integration Teams (RITs) shared a list of final report content
and processing problems that have caused significant delays for studies as they work
towards approval and authorization, and provided observations and tips to help study
teams avoid these pitfalls. The webinar was presented by Quana Higgins (NWD/POD RIT
Planner), Judy McCrea (OWPR Plan Formulation Team member), Fay Lachney (OWPR Plan
Formulation Team Lead), and Charles Wilson (SPD RIT Planner).
- Documenting Decisions: Tips, Tools, Techniques and Lessons Learned in Report Writing (19 September)
- This recorded webinar included tips from the field on technical story telling: How are those in the field writing integrated
feasibility study and environmental compliance documents that are both technically complete and readable? Jacksonville and
Little Rock Districts shared recent experiences and lessons learned as they prepared and released draft reports for public - and
concurrent internal - review.